Thanks to the Nexus 4's powerful quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, we didn't run into a single performance hiccup. This beautiful, fluid speed is also thanks to Google's "Project Butter", which made its debut with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and something I fell in love with on the Nexus 7 tablet.
Project Butter operates the entire OS at 60 frames per second - and it truly makes a difference - sliding between screens, the app draw, or between apps themselves just feels... natural. Going back to anything else or another OS can feel so slow and old.
Battery life wasn't too bad, but I wasn't overly impressed with it, either. It seems that as smartphones are getting more powerful, with features being crammed in by the metric tonne, battery life takes a dive. The iPhone 5 was a culprit with that, sporting its 4G LTE connectivity and larger screen, and the Nexus 4 is no different.
I didn't get a complete day out of it, with half of the time I was reviewing it I had the screen brightness alternating between full brightness and auto brightness. I found at auto brightness I could squeeze an hour or so more out of the device under heavy usage - but it was nothing to write home about.
General performance on the phone was mind-blowing - yes, I'm going there. Android 4.1 ushered in something Google liked to deliciously name "Project Butter". Project Butter makes the entire OS side of things run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second. This makes the entire OS feel oh-so-smooth, and this coupled with the quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM in the Nexus 4 is truly a culmination of hardware and software having a few great drinks together.
I never experienced a slow point in the OS, even when running 20+ apps at once. I would quickly go between Facebook, Gmail, the Camera, Flipboard, Instagram and countless other apps - all without the Nexus 4 skipping a beat. It was just an amazing experience feeling no slowdown whatsoever. I'm not even talking about a stutter in the 5 days I took to get a 'personal' feel of the device.
One thing you'll find with our smart device reviews is something I stated from the start - we're not just going to pump out a review in a day or less like some other websites. We're not just going to throw benchmark numbers at you. I use the smart devices I review for a 4-7 day period, to get a "real-world" feel of it. This is the type of experience you, as a consumer, will receive in that same time.
Sure, we could throw benchmark numbers at you - but for smart devices, do you really care? The iPhone 5 can beat the Nexus 4 in benchmarks, but the Nexus 4 feels faster. There are slightly better specced smart devices on the market (higher-clocked CPUs), but the Nexus 4 feels faster, and smoother.
Over my 5 days with the Nexus 4 - I fell in love. It has become an even bigger extension of my life, with its super smooth performance, multi-tasking grunt, gorgeous screen, amazing feel, and slick software. The Nexus 4 is that good.
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